Daring Cooks’ Challenge: Indian Dosas

This is my second Daring Cooks Challenge. The host for September is Debyi from HealthyVeganKitchen.com.   She chose Vegan version of Indian Dosas for this month’s challenge.

I have no idea what this dish is when I first learned of the challenge. I have never tried any Indian dish before except maybe for the curry which is not new to me because we have curry dishes too in the Philippines, but nevertheless, I was excited for this one.

I am considering this my first real Indian food.  I am not surprised that I liked this dish a lot. I knew it would be delicious when I skimmed through the recipe/s. I love curries especially really spicy ones and this is even better because it is so healthy. It’s a vegan/vegetarian dish, not that I consider myself one but I hardly miss the meat here.

I have never eaten garbanzos or chick peas this way ( I actually only have it sweetened form, yummy!).  I have never had savory pancake before either,  I thought at first it was a crepe but looking at the pictures posted in the daring cooks forum, it really is pancake because it’s thicker although this can also be made into crepes or paper dosas.

I tried my best to follow the recipe exactly but I couldn’t find spelt flour or any gluten-free flour, but since I am not really vegan, I decided to use whole wheat flour (not sure if this gluten-free or not)  but here’s the thing, I ran out, I only have less than half a cup to use, so I just added all-purpose flour to it and some golden flaxseeds.   Also, I just used water instead of vegetable broth.  I halved the recipe for both the filling and the sauce.  That’s about it.

Thanks Debyi for choosing this dish! 🙂

Here’s how I did these wonderful Dosas (pictures aren’t complete as I was pressed for time ):

the spices for the curried garbanzo filling


the cooked chickpeas  which I made the night before.  I am not sure about the outer husk/shell, but I included it in the filling, it will take a long time for me to “shell” these garbanzos


mash,mash..then add to the spices

dosas_coconut_curry_sauceadd diced tomatoes  in the coconut curry sauce


here’s a dosa pancake with filling on top, I added golden flaxseeds to the batter dosas_1

roll and serve with sauce and cucumber on the side..hmmm..so good!

See other daring cooks’ version of dosas here.

as posted by Debyi on the Daring Cooks Forum

Requirements: Must be free of animal products, this will be a challenge for you “regular” cooks out there, but its worth it. So that means, no cows milk, butter, meat, poultry, fish, chicken/beef broth, etc. This dish is also 99% oil free, using only what you need to keep the dosas from sticking (I used a quick spritz of cooking spray on the first dosa only), which isn’t too bad with a nonstick pan.

You can use a different filling/sauce if you like, but it must be free of animal products. I was just looking at the new Fresh newsletter, and one of the new menu items is Avocado Dosas with a filling of avocados, grape tomatoes, cilantro & hemp seeds with a mango tamarind or cilantro coconut chutney. Might be an interesting way to go too.
Indian Dosas

This recipe comes in 3 parts, the dosas, the filling and the sauce. It does take awhile to make, but the filling and sauce can be made ahead and frozen if need be. You can serve them as a main course with rice and veggies, or as an appetizer. This does take a little planning ahead, so make sure you read the recipe through before starting.

Serves 4

Equipment needed:
large bowl
griddle or skillet
ladle (or large spoon)
vegetable peeler &/or knife
large saucepan
food processor or bean masher

Dosa Pancakes
1 cup (120gm/8oz) spelt flour (or all-purpose, gluten free flour)
½ tsp (2½ gm) salt
½ tsp (2½ gm) baking powder
½ tsp (2½ gm) curry powder
½ cup (125ml/4oz) almond milk (or soy, or rice, etc.)
¾ cup (175ml/6oz) water
cooking spray, if needed

Dosa Filling
1 batch Curried Garbanzo Filling (see below), heated

Dosa Toppings
1 batch Coconut Curry Sauce (see below), heated
¼ cup (125gm) grated coconut
¼ cucumber, sliced

Dosa Pancakes
1.Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl, slowly adding the almond milk and water, whisking until smooth.

2.Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Spray your pan with a thin layer of cooking spray, if needed.
3.Ladle 2 tablespoons of batter into the center of your pan in a circular motion until it is a thin, round pancake. When bubbles appear on the surface and it no longer looks wet, flip it over and cook for a few seconds. Remove from heat and repeat with remaining batter. Makes 8 pancakes.

Curried Garbanzo Filling
This filling works great as a rice bowl topping or as a wrap too, so don’t be afraid to make a full batch.

5 cloves garlic
1 onion, peeled and finely diced
1 carrot, peeled and finely diced
1 green pepper, finely diced (red, yellow or orange are fine too)
2 medium hot banana chilies, minced
2 TBSP (16gm) cumin, ground
1 TBSP (8gm) oregano
1 TBSP (8gm) sea salt (coarse)
1 TBSP (8gm) turmeric
4 cups (850gm/30oz) cooked or canned chick peas (about 2 cans)
½ cup (125gm/4oz) tomato paste

1.Heat a large saucepan over medium to low heat. Add the garlic, veggies, and spices, cooking until soft, stirring occasionally.

2.Mash the chickpeas by hand, or in a food processor. Add the chickpeas and tomato paste to the saucepan, stirring until heated through.

Coconut Curry Sauce
This makes a great sauce to just pour over rice as well. This does freeze well, but the texture will be a little different. The flavor is still the same though. My picture of this sauce is one that I had made, had to freeze, then thaw to use. It tastes great, but the texture is a little runnier, not quite as thick as it was before freezing.

1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic
½ (2½ gm) tsp cumin, ground
¾ (3¾ gm) tsp sea salt (coarse)
3 TBSP (30gm) curry powder
3 TBSP (30gm) spelt flour (or all-purpose GF flour)
3 cups (750ml/24oz) vegetable broth
2 cups (500ml/24oz) coconut milk
3 large tomatoes, diced

1.Heat a saucepan over medium heat, add the onion and garlic, cooking for 5 minutes, or until soft.

2.Add the spices, cooking for 1 minutes more. Add the flour and cook for 1 additional minute.

3.Gradually stir in the vegetable broth to prevent lumps. Once the flour has been incorporated, add the coconut milk and tomatoes, stirring occasionally.

4.Let it simmer for half an hour.

Happy Cooking!


24 Responses to "Daring Cooks’ Challenge: Indian Dosas"

  1. John (Eat4Fun)   September 21, 2009 at 10:15 pm

    Congrats on completing your challenge and thanks for commenting on my post too. Very nice pictures you’ve taken.

  2. MaryMoh   September 21, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    awesome thosai. An Indian made for me many yrs ago with potato spinach filling. I realy love it. But your version here looks awesome with so much sauce to go with it. Great job done. I love Indian food.

  3. sarah   September 16, 2009 at 4:04 am

    Beautiful presentation – I had a lot of trouble with that myself!

  4. isa   September 15, 2009 at 3:45 pm

    Glad you liked it – it looks really delicious! Beautiful step-by-step photos – I love your presentation!

  5. Pia (Taga_Luto)   September 15, 2009 at 7:44 am

    Hi, Olive. Wow your dosas came out perfect. I’m sure you used the fresh coconut. I did w/ mine as well..altho’ it was tedious, i used the “Kudkuran” so imagine that. Well, got to do it coz fresh coconut is not available here i abhor those processed ones. Let’s wait and see what’s in store for us next month.

    • Olive   September 15, 2009 at 9:12 am

      Thanks Pia 🙂

      I did use fresh grated coconut, I extracted the milk myself (love doing it) but that’s as far as I would go..
      I have never used a kudkuran but I know how hard it is, we used to have one when I was little. I don’t like the canned coconut milk as well but I sometimes use them when I am too busy or needs just a little but I would probably use it a lot if I were in your shoes cause I will surely hurt myself with a kudkuran.. My hat’s off to you 🙂

      I can’t wait for next month’s challenge too. I’m glad you stopped by.. Maayong adlaw sa imo 🙂

  6. abby   September 14, 2009 at 11:43 pm

    wow, lots of new stuff for you to try and you did a great job, they look delicious!

    • Olive   September 15, 2009 at 7:40 am

      @Abby, Lisa and Debbie

      Hello! Thanks for the nice comments. 🙂
      I enjoy doing this challenge even though I did it in a hurry ( except for the plating). I’ll definitely do this again and maybe even try
      a non-vegan/vegetarian dosas.

  7. Lisa   September 14, 2009 at 9:50 pm

    WOW WOW WOW!! Your plating is gorgeous, love the cucumber heart, and your photographs show every lovely detail of your beautiful dosas! Nicely done!

  8. debbie   September 14, 2009 at 7:52 pm

    Your challenge looks wonderful! Hope you enjoy yourself as much with those to follow:)

  9. Lauren   September 14, 2009 at 5:54 pm

    Yum!! Your dosas look delicious =D. Love the photos!

    • Olive   September 15, 2009 at 4:18 am

      @Lauren and Maybelle’s mom Thanks 🙂

      Hello Mary, thanks. I enjoyed the challenge, I’m really looking forward to next month’s and the dosas were delicous and khaki green’s not that bad 😉

      @Robert I find it delicious too, and thanks, and so are yours 🙂

      Have a nice day and thanks for dropping by!

  10. maybelles mom   September 14, 2009 at 5:51 pm

    Oh, it looks so wonderful in your picture. I love your plating.

  11. Mary   September 14, 2009 at 5:25 pm

    You did a great job. Your sauce looks terrific. Mine was a very unappealing khaki green. I hope you enjoyed the dosas and the challenge.

  12. Robert   September 14, 2009 at 3:05 pm

    I used a mix of AP and whole wheat flour for my first attempt and was pleased with the results. Your plate is beautiful.

  13. Jenn   September 14, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    Great job on the challenge!! I also saw a cucumber heart 🙂

    You said you weren’t sure if whole wheat flour was gluten free or not. Gluten is in wheat, most oats, barley, and several other things. Spelt is a type of wheat as well. All-purpose flour is also made from wheat. Any products made or derived from these grains (yes, that means beer too) contain gluten.

    Gluten free would be rice, potatoe, tapioca, nut flours (almond, walnut, etc.), bean flours (like chickpea flour, soy, etc.), and seeds such as quinoa, buckwheat, and amaranth.

    • Olive   September 15, 2009 at 4:10 am

      Hi Jen, I didn’t know that but now I do, thanks so much to you 🙂 I guess this means my dosas are not vegan but they’re delicious anyway 😉

  14. Cheri   September 14, 2009 at 11:50 am

    Your plating is lovely. I love that you put the sauce on the bottom and placed the dosas on top. It looks like you did a wonderful job!

    • Olive   September 15, 2009 at 4:32 am

      @Cheri – Thanks, I got inspired.. I guess I did learn something from watching a lot of food shows on TV 🙂

      @Frenchie – I agree with you, it’s fun learning about dishes that are unfamiliar, I’m looking forward to the next challenge as well . 🙂

      @Angela- I didn’t see the clock face too, I had to take a second look and then I noticed it.

      Thanks for dropping by..:)

  15. Frenchie   September 14, 2009 at 10:27 am

    Your step-by-step photos as well as your final product look wonderful. Daring Cooks is great becaus we all end up making things we haven’t made before. I am looking forward to seeing what’s next!

  16. Angela   September 14, 2009 at 9:09 am

    Great challenge! I don’t see the clock face so much as a cucumber heart!

  17. Balise   September 14, 2009 at 4:43 am

    Nice set of “work in progress” pictures – and your final plating seems very appetizing 🙂

  18. Simon   September 14, 2009 at 4:37 am

    I like how you plated the dish in the first shot. Looks like the face of a clock with the way it was laid out 🙂

    • Olive   September 14, 2009 at 8:36 am

      really?! it wasn’t intentional, I did look at the photo again and you’re right, it does look like a clock face 😉

      thanks for dropping by and you too, Balise 🙂


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